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Will Cloning Be Next Investment Hotbed?

Many venture capitalists have struck it rich in the risky information-technology market in the last decade. Will they turn to cloning next? A researcher at Edinburgh University is looking for funding to clone human embryos. Austin Smith, director of Edinburgh University's center of genome research, is said to be on the brink of making the first human embryo clone. His form of cloning could give a baby an embryonic "twin," from whom spare body parts could be grown and life-threatening diseases treated. Smith -- who is in consultation with the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, which created Dolly, the first cloned mammal -- says that within the next 12 years it will be routine for every baby to have an embryonic clone. Members of Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority and a human genetics advisory commission will report to the government within the next few weeks regarding the issue. It's expected the groups will recommend approval of new therapeutic cloning but advise against the reproductive cloning by replicating a living human being. "All it takes now is financial investment," Smith says. "This therapy will be the medicine of the next century."

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